Where the intelligence debate will end

Where the intelligence debate will end

In the wake of the PKK massacre in Gaziantep, a new intelligence debate emerged within the government so large that no one was excluded. Let’s try to evaluate the sides of the debate, in which even President Abdullah Gül was involved, and where they want to arrive.

The intelligence debate was also triggered by the phrase at the end of the print announcement Fethullah Gülen published after the massacre, which admonsihed the government “to be more accurate, primarily on intelligence issues, and take all kinds of precautions.”

When reviewing the media and the public opinion before this public announcement was printed, we can see that the group under the influence of Gülen was questioning a “lack of intelligence,” implying such a lack on the part of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). Everyone may have a different idea about its reasons, but this latest development demonstrates the special interest the Gülen movement takes in intelligence and in MİT.

The situation is being seriously questioned even within the government. Why shouldn’t it be questioned? It should, because there are serious allegations being made. Let’s not decide just by looking at Gaziantep. Let’s go back to the initiative that occurred and somehow exploded during the KCK investigation, the one involving the attempt to pull MİT and its undersecretary into court. You will remember. The Gülen movement defended the prosecutors in the incident, saying the MİT undersecretary should be tried, while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his friends protected Hakan Fidan and the institution, in which they also had Gül’s support.

Both sides expressed very grave claims and visions from their own points of view. When seen through the window of the “community,” MİT took part in a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) operation that could have led to the partition of the country, and has even committed murders for this purpose.

According to the government, MİT has even infiltrated inside the PKK, reaching as far as [Murat] Karayılan [a PKK field leader], and as a result of this, while it was preparing to inflict the biggest blow in the history of the PKK, all of a sudden forces interfered and spoiled the MİT plan, disclosing its sources and damaging its reputation.

Because both of these views contain very grave allegations, everyone living in this country has a right to demand to know which is the correct version of events. The information I have is that the prime minister is especially monitoring this matter and the truth will definitely prevail: It will be disclosed who has played a role in this process, intentionally or unintentionally. Some will say it is “instigation” but everything is open.

Before the debate over the investigation of the KCK and [Abdullah] Öcalan’s lawyers had cooled down, the image that Gülen promoted, maybe not intentionally, that there was an intelligence weakness, was not welcomed by the government. This time, President Gül also took a clearer stance and said there was no weakness of intelligence, demonstrating again that he stands behind MİT. The Interior Ministry, the one that Police Intelligence claimed is the apple of the eye of the “community,” also felt the need to announce that there was no weakness of intelligence.

We are waiting for the outcome with curiosity, but in light of the above information, I will make a summary regarding the future: Whatever the community says, Gül and the government support and trust MİT; they rely on MİT more than on police intelligence, despite the community’s implications to the contrary.

Gül and the government believe that MİT did what it needed to do, both in Şemdinli and Gaziantep.
In such a case, MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, who is known to have said in a meeting, “It is our main duty not to allow a parallel organization inside the state,” let alone losing his position, has increased his influence over political authority, thus increasing the annoyance of certain segments who do not want to lose.

*Şükrü Küçükşahin is a columnist for daily Hürriyet, in which this piece appeared on Aug. 27. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.

ŞÜKRÜ KÜÇÜKŞAHİN - skucuksahin@hurriyet.com.tr